Selling UK snacks down under giving welcome boost

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

The UK's recently inked trade deal with Australia will boost export opportunities for the savoury snacks sector. Pic: Gettyimages/Oleksii Liskonih/Rimma_Bondarenko
The UK's recently inked trade deal with Australia will boost export opportunities for the savoury snacks sector. Pic: Gettyimages/Oleksii Liskonih/Rimma_Bondarenko

Related tags: Food and drink federation, Australia new zealand, Exports, Snacks

The UK’s Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has welcomed the government’s trade deal with Australia, which will undoubtedly reopen vast opportunities for the snacks sector.

The UK snacks sector has secured a prime spot for itself down under, with savoury snacks being the third most exported products to Australia in 2020.

Australia is the 11th​ most important destination for UK exports in terms of value, though exports fell by 6% in 2020. However, in the past decade, UK food and drink exports to Australia and New Zealand have more than doubled, tipping at over £484m last year.

Snacks exports to Australia slipped 8.1% to £26.8m in 2020, so the UK’s recent agreement to broad terms of a trade deal will go a long way for the sector to get back on track.

“The UK and Australia are important trade partners when it comes to food and drink, with trade in our sector’s products worth more than £800m in 2020,”​ said Dominic Goudie, head of International Trade, FDF.

“It is now vital that we know the detail of what has been agreed to help businesses understand and begin to prepare for the new terms of trade.

“Food and drink manufacturers will hope that this deal will remove burdensome and unnecessary barriers to trade that will provide a timely boost for our industry’s post-COVID recovery. The terms must also ensure that consumers have continued confidence that any agreement maintains the highest food safety and animal welfare standards.”

Third biggest export

The top five UK products exported to Australia in 2020 included whisky (£115.7m, down 3.3% from the year prior); gin (£27.6m, an increase of 16,8%); savoury snacks (down 8.1% from £29.2m in 2019); spirits (up 17% to £25.4m) and chocolate (down 19.9% to £16.7m).

FDF’s export snapshot shows that exports to New Zealand continued to grow in 2020, albeit more slowly than recent years.

Australia is the world’s 13th​ largest economy, with one of the highest levels of per capita GDP in the world and ranking first for median wealth per adult, according to Mintel opinion.

Prior to the onset of COVID-19, the Australian economy recorded 29 years of consecutive economic growth.

The Australian Government implemented strong restrictions in response to the pandemic, resulting in one of the lowest rates of infections globally. A strongly debated topic is the reopening of the country’s borders.

Australia’s international borders have effectively been closed since March 2020 and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry warns that billions are being lost in international tourism, education and exports. According to the FDF, top imports from Australia in 2020 were wine (£280m), lamb and mutton (£46m) and pulses (£8.5m).

However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison remains adamant that it is still ‘not safe’ for Australia to remove its hard border policy before mid-2022.

Watch this space.

Related topics: Snacks, Industry Voices, Markets, COVID-19

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